Santa arrived early at the Doña Ana County International Jetport, where a new Automatic Weather Observation System (AWOS) has been installed and commissioned by the Federal Aviation Administration
The system allows pilots to access ambient temperature, dew point, wind speed/direction, visibility, liquid precipitation and thunderstorm information. The system was purchased with legislative capital outlay funds.
“We anticipate that this will greatly increase the transient aircraft traffic through the Jetport,” said Jetport Manager William Provance.
Along with commissioning the AWOS system, the FAA has now changed the official name of the airport to Doña Ana County International Jetport with a corresponding identifier change from 5T6 to DNA.
A change to a three letter identifier from a number identifier indicates the airport has grown and is a significant airport in the region. These changes culminate more than five years of efforts to achieve the improved status for the facility.
Having certified weather observations available will allow charter companies that require certified weather to land at the Jetport.
Weather conditions may be accessed from anywhere in the world, so pilots can plan to use the Jetport when filing a flight plan either domestically or internationally, thereby making the Jetport a legal alternate in case the weather is below landing minimums at El Paso or Las Cruces.
The AWOS transmits the information on VHF frequency 124.175 MHz and can be accessed by telephone at (575) 589-2643. Internet access will be added when the modem equipment is available.